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Posted September 19, 2010
The book that I chose to read was The Ultimate Race Car by Davis Burgess-Wise. This book is a timeline about the different styles and types of racing cars encompassing the years 1884 to 2000. The major theme in this book centers on how automobile racing opened up a new category in the sporting world.
The Ultimate Race Car is a child's encyclopedia filled with colorful pictures and photographs. It is broken up into three sections. Part one gives the history of racing. Part two highlights the best race cars from the 1900 to 2000. Part three gives a short summary about the famous racers from the past one hundred years.
The very first racing car was a little quadricycle that was built by Parisian firm De Dion, Bouton, and Trepardoux in 1884. Its top speed was 35 mph and its very first race was in 1887. Its only opponent was the clock. The very first international race series was the James Gordon Bennett. First international race was in 1900 and the 1st place winner was by a French car. The Grand Prix replaced the Gordon Bennett series in 1905. The biggest engine ever built was the Beast of Turin, a whapping 300-hp machine that was powered by a 28.3-liter airship engine. It was capable of going 180mph. This was recorded at Longs Island, New York, in the year 1912. The first use of a supercharged sport car engine started in the early 1920s. Every year saw improvements in speed and safety.
The strengths of this book are found in its colorful photos, overall organization and the thoroughness of its history in part one. The timeline is excellent. There is one weakness. In section two, which contains all the best cars from 1900 to 2000, the reader is only given limited amounts of information.
If you are a sports-minded person and like car racing, this could be the right book for you. The Ultimate Race Car gives a good glimpse of what a real race car has under its hood. It also includes some math and science concepts by addressing aerodynamics and its effect on speed. My likes about this book was that it gave a lot of information about all the different types of racing cars and that it had pictures of all different kinds of cars. My dislike about this book was that it did not give a lot of specifications about all the different brands and types of engines. It only said how much horse power the different engines had and what its top speed was. It never said how fast they could accelerate and how much torque they had